MX23RW : Thursday, April 15 05:29:32| >> :120:26666:26666:
Feb 27, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Allianz Arena
BayernBayern Munich
5-1
FC KolnFC Koln
Maxim Choupo-Moting (18'), Lewandowski (33', 65'), Gnabry (82', 86')
Alaba (22'), Sane (45+1')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Skhiri (49')
Czichos (45')

Preview: Bayern Munich vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Bayern Munich and FC Koln, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayern Munich take on FC Koln in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the league leaders looking to get back to winning ways in order to remain top of the table.

Koln, meanwhile, have lost successive matches and are now only three points above the relegation zone.


Match preview

David Alaba in action for Bayern Munich on February 11, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, after surprisingly dropping two points at home to Arminia Bielefeld last Monday, Bayern travelled to high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt with some trepidation, especially with the amount of first-team players they were missing through injury or illness.

However, the Bavarians were boosted by the news that Frankfurt's top goalscorer Andre Silva had been ruled out with a back problem, but ultimately it did not amount to anything as Hansi Flick's side fell to a 2-1 defeat. Even without his chief partner in crime, Filip Kostic still helped himself to yet another assist, squaring the ball for Daichi Kamada to stab Adi Hutter's side ahead before Amin Younes doubled the hosts' lead with a scorching strike past Manuel Neuer into the top corner.

With a two-goal lead to protect, Frankfurt understandably dropped much deeper in the second half, with Robert Lewandowski making nerves jangle after obliging from close range after superb wing play by Leroy Sane in the 53rd minute. Frankfurt showed great resolve to hold on for a fifth successive win, though, which has blown the title race wide open once again, with RB Leipzig breathing down Bayern's neck only two points behind.

By thumping Lazio 4-1 at Stadio Olimpico in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday, though, Bayern did illustrate that they are still comfortably one of the strongest sides in Europe even without the likes of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry. Jamal Musiala, who confirmed in midweek that he will represent the German national team as opposed to England where he grew up, shone in the attacking midfield role, scoring Bayern's second in a morale-boosting win which should see them through to the last eight of Europe's elite competition.

FC Koln players celebrate scoring against Union Berlin on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Koln, meanwhile, continue to prove inconsistent under Markus Gisdol, with back-to-back victories followed by successive defeats in recent weeks.

They were perhaps a little unfortunate to lose 1-0 at home to Stuttgart last weekend, though, in what was a fairly tight encounter. Pellegrino Matarazzo's side have been impressive on the road all season, amassing 20 of their 29 points away from home, so it was perhaps no surprise to see them prevail.

In truth, Koln are not dissimilar, having only won once at home this season. Both sides struggled for any fluency in a dismal first half, before Borna Sosa and Sasa Kalajdzic combined for the second straight game, with the wing-back's delightful cross powered into back of the net by the dangerous forward.

Emmanuel Dennis came close to opening his Bundesliga account for Koln before Salih Ozcan's thunderous strike from distance crashed off the bar, but the fact that Koln did not produce a single save from Stuttgart goalkeeper Gregor Kobel throughout the 90 minutes will be a concern to Gisdol ahead of their trip to the reigning champions. However, playing on the break tends to suit them, with Bayern's defence far from impenetrable this season.

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form: WWWWDL
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WWWDLW

FC Koln Bundesliga form: WLWWLL
FC Koln form (all competitions): LWLWLL


Team News

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Bayern will remain without Muller and Benjamin Pavard after the pair tested positive for COVID-19, but will hope to have both back against Borussia Dortmund next weekend.

Corentin Tolisso and Douglas Costa are likely to miss the rest of the season through injury, with the match against Koln also coming too soon for Gnabry, Alexander Nubel and Tanguy Nianzou.

Musiala is likely to keep his place between the lines ahead of Eric Choupo-Moting, with Flick likely to go with the same XI which comfortably dispatched Lazio.

Koln, meanwhile, will travel to Munich without Sebastian Bornauw due to a back injury.

Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz are back in training after recovering from knee injuries, but Jonas Hector is seemingly still in the latter stages of returning from his muscular problem.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Sule, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Coman; Lewandowski

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
T.Horn; Ehizibue, Cestic, Mere, Czichos, J.Horn; Wolf, Skhiri, Rexhbecaj; Duda, Dennis


SM words green background

We say: Bayern Munich 3-1 FC Koln

Clean sheets for Bayern have been thin on the ground this season so we can see Koln posing issues in transition, but the Bavarians should have far too much quality going the other way.

The win in Rome in midweek should have significantly boosted their confidence, particularly with Musiala demonstrating that he can offer some of the qualities missed in the absence of Muller, so Flick's side should win to remain top for another weekend.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern28205380364465
2RB Leipzig28186452232960
3Wolfsburg28159449262354
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt281411359401953
5Borussia DortmundDortmund281441058411746
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen28128845321344
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin2891364234840
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach28101084843540
9Stuttgart2810995044639
10Freiburg28107114042-237
11Augsburg2895142942-1332
12Hoffenheim2887134147-631
13Werder Bremen2879123243-1130
14Mainz 052877143048-1828
15Hertha Berlin2868143448-1426
16Arminia Bielefeld2875162246-2426
17FC Koln2858152750-2323
18Schalke 04Schalke2827191871-5313

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